Yes, I like Rick. I even thought Rick should have started the game last night in Montreal because, let’s face it, we weren’t going to get anything positive out of Rick unless he was playing on a consistent basis. DP has appeared in 50 games over the past five seasons, so obviously, the man hasn’t had enough time to do very much. In order to get him going, the Islanders were going to have to take that risk and play him, something that the organization was clearly not in favor of. That’s fair, but a tricky situation.
With that being said, the Islanders made the right, but sad, decision to waive Rick DiPietro this afternoon. The Islanders need a true back-up goalie, so they could rest Nabby, with confidence, when he becomes exhausted. Rick DiPietro was not that guy, and will be heading to Bridgeport. According to Arthur Staple, this is a permanent move.
I’ve always believed this was the right decision. DiPietro needed to go to the AHL, and it should have happened years ago. At the end of the day, the decision is a win-win for the Islanders, and mostly a win-win for Ricky.
By sending DP down, the Islanders give Rick a chance to re-discover his game in Bridgeport. As I mentioned, he needs to play actual games on a consistent basis if we wanted to have any real chance to see if he had anything left. Let it be known, if Rick happens to find his game, the Islanders benefit, and if he doesn’t then the Islanders just move on, knowing they have a personnel job for Ricky if he ever wants one. Whether Rick re-discovers himself or not, the Islanders can now move on without his distraction, so now only the delusional (yes, the same people who still make “Kansas City” jokes) can continue to harass the Islanders and their fan-base.
For Rick, he benefits by receiving a chance to play hockey without the scrutiny. He still gets paid. I can assure you, Rick would trade his wealth for his health, though. Rick’s a proud guy, and watching him play as a mediocre goalie does not even come close to the feelings he must get for playing like one. Once an All-Star, Rick has posted a 14-27-7 record over the past 5 seasons. His GAA average sky-rocketed to a 3.39, and his save percentage dipped to .886. In his career, DP has a .902 save percentage, and a 2.87 GAA.
I want to reiterate that it is a bit sad. Rick DiPietro has been a true Islander. He never wanted anything other than bringing the Stanley Cup to Long Island, and only Long Island. Let’s not define him by his contract, which any sane man would have signed. Remember Rick DiPietro as a former All-Star goalie, marred by injuries, but bled blue and orange through all of his ups and downs. Never once did DP throw his teammates under the bus. He’s never gotten into trouble on the Island, nor has he ever been a locker room disturbance.
Regardless, Rick was the only player booed on Opening Night, and has been the butt-end to every joke over the past few seasons. Were people frustrated with this situation? Yes. Did Rick deserve any of it? Not at all.
No matter what happens from here, Rick DiPietro worked hard for this team, and his dedication during a time where nobody else wanted to commit should be applauded. Good luck, Rick. Hopefully, you can figure it all out. The “DP!” chants still echo.
P.s. I hope you score that goal one day. Was always fun watching Rick try to hit the empty net.
Thanks for reading. Comments are appreciated!
Filed Under: New York Islanders
About the Author: Writes at Islanders Op-Timism. Islanders Season Ticket Holder who tends to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hofstra Graduate currently working at Portnoy, Messinger, Pearl & Associates. I definitely want to end up working within the world of hockey. Blog: www.IslandersOptimism.com E-Mail: ChristopherTriantafilis@gmail.com Twitter: @ChrisTriants